First COVID-19 case reported in Douglas County

The individual is isolated at home and doing well.

FSA Coronavirus local

The Douglas County Health Department reported the first confirmed case of the new coronavirus in Douglas County on Friday.

The case is likely associated with travel, Kathy Ronchi, Douglas County public health officer, said in a news release. The individual is isolated at home and doing well. The public health department is identifying and contacting anyone who has been in close contact with the person.

Ronchi advised people to follow guidelines from public health officials and to not panic.

“It is important that Douglas County residents do not panic but continue to follow recommendations to protect themselves, others, and slow the spread of COVID-19,” Ronchi said. “I am confident in our community’s ability to support each other in the difficult days ahead.”

On Thursday, the state reported that three people have died from the illness. Bayfield County also reported its first confirmed case of COVID-19 .


The number of positive cases in Wisconsin was 155 as of Thursday, with 2,192 people having tested negative for the illness, according to the state Department of Health Services .

With no medicine or vaccines to treat or prevent COVID-19, the public health department advised people to do the following:

  • Stay home when sick.

  • Wash hands frequently with soap and water for 20 seconds.

  • Cover coughs and sneezes.

  • Avoid touching the face.

  • Clean and disinfect commonly touched surfaces.

  • Practice social distancing by staying at least 6 feet away from other people.

  • Avoid public gatherings of more than 10 people.

Douglas County Emergency Management is working with the health department, as well as local, state and federal agencies on response plans, said Dave Sletten, Douglas County emergency manager, in the news release.
However, Sletten said people need to realize they can prevent the illness from spreading.

“It is important to understand that everyone has a role in reducing the spread of COVID-19,” he said.

Because of how quickly the pandemic is evolving, Ronchi advised people to get their information from the following sources:

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Maria Lockwood covers news in Douglas County, Wisconsin, for the Superior Telegram.
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